Pope meets eight abuse victims in Ireland

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Dublin, Aug 26 (IANS) Pope Francis has met eight Irish victims of abuse committed by the clergy, on the first day of his historic trip to Dublin, where he is to participate in the IX World Meeting of Families.

The meeting, which was announced by the Vatican prior to the trip, took place in the Apostolic Nunciature in the Irish capital on Saturday, Efe news reported.

The meeting was with “eight survivors of clerical, religious and institutional abuse,” Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said in a statement

Two persons from the Irish Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors (CMABS) who attended the meeting said Francis condemned corruption and cover ups within the Church, referring to these practices as “caca”, which the interpreter politely translated as “filth you would see in the toilet”.

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Among the victims who were present was Marie Collins, who resigned last year from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors after denouncing the lack of cooperation by some members of the Vatican Curia

The other victims who attended the meeting include reverends Patrick McCafferty and Joe McDonald, Damien O’Farrell, Paul Jude Redmond, Clodagh Malone, and Bernadette Fathy, while the eighth victim, who was abused by priest Tony Walsh, asked to remain anonymous.

Clodagh Malone, who was born in the Saint Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home in Dublin and was adopted after 10 weeks, “asked the Pope to clearly and publicly state that the natural mothers who lost their babies to adoption had done nothing wrong and call for reconciliation and reunion for these families broken by the Catholic Church both in Ireland and around the world.”

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According to the statement by CMABS, the Pope “agreed to include the message in his mass tomorrow”.

Redmond, who was born in the Castlepollard Home and adopted after 17 days, asked the pope to demand that the nuns who ran the homes “acknowledge their actions and issue an unqualified apology to all the survivors of their institutions,” as well as to “commit to paying the full cost of the current inquiry.”

The Pope apologised for what happened in the homes, Redmond said in the statement.

During the meeting, the Pope received a copy of Redmond’s book “The Adoption Machine,” which contains details of thousands of deaths and other horrors that took place in the Mother and Baby homes.

“The Pope was genuinely shocked to hear about the 6,000 babies who died and the 3,000 babies who were banished and the vaccine trials,” the victims’ statement says.

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–IANS

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